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System Director’s Report:

March 2007


Unlike my predecessor, I don’t usually get philosophical in this space, but sometimes you get news that requires this sort of reaction!

SirsiDynix, library system vendor for the LINK consortium, recently announced that it has changed course and no longer intends to release the Horizon 8.x product. We contracted for this product in December 2003 and have been anticipating installation ever since, so this announcement took us by surprise. We were certain that 2007 was going to be the year we moved from our Dynix Classic system onto Horizon.
Instead, SirsiDynix has decided to stop development of the Horizon product and focus all future development efforts on a product called “Rome,” which is based on its Unicorn platform. We have not heard a reason, just the announcement of the decision. Details on the functionality to be included in Rome are sparse, but the vendor’s press release said the first version of Rome—“with many important features”—will be released later this year, with a subsequent version released in late 2008.
Where does this leave us? OK, this is the philosophical part. Compared to others we are in pretty good shape. The LINK consortium and our automation staff completed a major upgrade of the hardware that runs our Dynix Classic system last summer, so we can stay where we are, at least for a while. Libraries that already moved to Horizon will have to undertake another system migration, which we avoided through the delay. SirsiDynix says it will honor our 2003 contract, but we plan to have that contract reviewed to clarify our legal standing. The LINK consortium has the money for the next system in the bank, and our vendor did not announce that it is bankrupt. It could be worse.

Lauren Blough summarized LINK’s future directions as follows:

  • begin a new investigation for the next generation integrated library system with the expectation that Dynix Classic will be supported for the next few years; or
  • review Unicorn functionality and make the interim move to Unicorn Release GL3.1 while waiting for the release of "Rome;" or
  • maintain Dynix Classic until a stable version of "Rome" is released.

A demonstration of the current Unicorn product is scheduled for April 12, after the next meeting of the LINK consortium. There should be some interesting discussion, too. We live in interesting times.

I’ll see you on the 9th!